Mourning the first Honda US champion / MotoAmerica Superbike

The American motorsport world lost one of its first great champions. American Dick Mann died on Monday at the age of 86; He was an iconic character in the early Honda years.

Dick Mann was seen as a versatile racing driver who was quick to adapt to new conditions. His long career contained countless seasons in various categories of motorsport, all of which were easy to handle. Mann was a founding member of the exclusive “Grand Slam Club” in the USA, an organization that welcomed national winners in the fields of road, short track, tourist prize and drag races over the half-mile plus the full mile.

In 1975 he won a bronze medal with Team USA in a six-day international trial, and Mann won the AMA National Championship twice. Especially impressive: In AMA’s first-ever motocross race, the race driver emerged from Salt Lake City victorious.

The American competed for Honda at the Daytona 200 at the Daytona International Speedway in 1970 on the four-cylinder CB750. The 35-year-old surprisingly won his first Japanese factory outing in Daytona. Day to day, it made Honda a legend in American motorbike racing, and the manufacturer had never before been represented at an AMA event. Because he defeated GP star Mike Hailwood in that race, this success had an important place in his resume.

In 1971 he repeated the victory of Daytona over the Bosnian Serb Army. In total, Mann handled 240 AMA races, of which he won 24. At the age of 40, he ended his road racing career and returned to his trial roots. Until the 1990s, Mann regularly competed in races, and in 2006 he opened an exhibition in his honor entitled “Superman” in the American MotoGP Hall of Fame. During his career as a racing driver, he built motorcycle tires and other parts for off-road motorcycles.

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Mann passed away on April 26, 2021 at the age of 86.

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